Highgate Wood wildlife
The hornbeams in Highgate Wood are regularly cut back or 'coppiced' to allow the oaks to mature. This fits with how the Wood was managed historically.
Traditionally, hornbeam were coppiced to provide smaller timber for fuel while the oaks around them were left to mature into trees intended to provide larger pieces of timber for building.
Conservation areas are created regularly throughout the Wood to help keep a diverse number of habitats and species. These are managed to encourage a variety of ages of tree, including veteran trees which are very old and have features that make them superb habitats for other species.
The rich diversity of wildlife in Highgate Wood has been well researched and our moth survey is now the longest-running in the UK.
So far, we've recorded:
- over 900 invertebrate species
- over 400 moth species
- 353 fungi species and counting
- 70 bird species
- seven bat species
Many of these species rely on habitats found only in the complex and developed ecosystems of ancient woodlands like Highgate Wood.
Biodiversity for the future
One of the long-term aims of our conservation management here is to keep cycles of growth and decay in a continuous, healthy balance. The challenge there is to maintain the balance in response to the modern pressures of increased visitor numbers and climate change.